A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Down on the farm (with Laura Cantrell).....

I must apologise that I shall not be posting frequently for the next few days as I am out and about, including presenting a talk to 200 farmers on biofuels and biopackaging (government policy on these is a total mystery!). This should be fun, and I expect to learn far more than I impart.

In the meantime, I also feature in an excellent piece on climate change by Charlie Flindt, a Hampshire farmer, in this week's Farmers Weekly (always a worthwhile read - you'll need your cookies enabled for this): 'Brace yourself for a roller-coaster climate' (Farmers Weekly, April 16 - 22, pp. 71 - 72). The article kindly concludes:

"I think it's because we know Prof Stott has a point. We know about climate change because we deal with climate every day, and it's true, it changes all the time. We - as an industry - have been around for a good few years, and for a good few changes in climate. We'll adapt and cope with the worst Mother Nature decides to throw at us. It can't be any worse than Mrs Beckett's mid-term review proposals."

Poor Margaret Beckett - 'Rosa Klebb', of course, in Private Eye.

Charlie was an excellent interviewer, and I find the down-to-earth common sense of many farmers a much needed corrective to the Islington babble.

Hence, why I'm looking forward to being down on the farm.....

In the meantime, just remember that (for your sanity):

- the global warming myth is not complex climate change;

- wind farms have an enormous footprint for a piddling amount of energy;

- in twenty years time, we will marvel at the fuss over GM;

- most re-cycling is both economic and environmental rubbish;

- 'organic' food is a jolly expensive fad;

- the measured species extinction rate is only 0.006% every 50 years, and this is a worst case scenario which takes into account neither new species nor rediscoveries and which is based on one of the lowest estimates of the total number of species in the wide, wide world.

Or better still, of course, treat yourself to Laura Cantrell's haunting album, 'When The Roses Bloom Again' (Spit and Polish, Shoeshine Records [SPITCD 014]) (review and teasers at BBC Music>>Folk & Country (April 17). Some of the songs, including the title piece itself, 'Mountain Fern', 'Yonder Comes a Freight Train', 'Too Late for Tonight', and 'Broken Again' are pure 'Cold Mountain'. An immediate classic. To be taken with a smoke-filled Islay malt in the wee small hours. And I bet you sob into your glass!

Philip, a romantic ploughing the Enlightenment furrow. Will be back soon..... ("Oh no!", I hear you cry!). Now, for that turnip wine..... or single malt?

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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